There are two different types of timeshares: traditional timeshares and points-based timeshares. The type of timeshare will have a significant impact on how they operate. Traditional timeshares typically include deeded ownership of real property that provides the right to vacation each year for a week (or more) at a specific resort. These weeks can be fixed, floating, or rotating. A fixed week means the owner receives lodging during the calendar week every year. Floating weeks give the owner the right to book whatever week they would like, subject to availability. Rotating week timeshares rotate the usage week based on a set schedule. Traditional timeshares have decreased in popularity due to the lack of flexibility and have been replaced with points-based timeshares.
Points-based timeshares typically do not include legal ownership of real property. Instead, they provide purchasers the right to use (or trade) lodging at several resorts. Purchasers are allocated points on an annual basis which are used to reserve accommodations, and each room at the various resorts is assigned a specific point value to reserve it. Points-based timeshares are designed to provide greater flexibility for purchasers. However, the use of points and even the ability to book is highly influenced by the size and type of unit desired, location of the resort, major events, and time of year.
Right to Cancel by Law
You just purchased a timeshare and decided you don’t want it for any number of reasons, including you felt pressured into the purchase, believe you were misled during the sales presentation, or realized you cannot afford it. You may still have the right to cancel. By law, every timeshare contract includes a “cooling-off” period that allows a purchaser to cancel within a specific number of days from the date of the purchase without penalty. This period varies from state to state, depending on where you purchased. There are detailed instructions and requirements in the contract explaining how to cancel the agreement, which you can do yourself. However, if not done correctly, you will be stuck in the contract. To find out if you are within the “cooling-off” period or if you need assistance canceling your contract within this time frame, call our office we can help.
Right to Cancel After the Rescission Period has Elapsed
After this “cooling off” period has elapsed, canceling the contract becomes much more difficult, as the contract has arguably become binding. We encourage everyone to reach out to their timeshare developer first, especially if the timeshare is paid for in full. Many timeshare developers have approved exit programs for members who have paid off their loans and are current on fees or have encountered financial hardship.
If working directly with the developer does not work, there is one final option challenging the contract’s validity. Challenging the validity of an ostensibly binding contract is decidedly a job that should only be handled by a licensed professional. Do not be confused by claims from timeshare “financial groups” or “exit teams” with no legal qualifications offering a “guaranteed” exit. These groups are NOT actual law firms and cannot represent you through litigation if your timeshare company decides to escalate the dispute to court or arbitration, leaving you potentially exposed to disastrous consequences. Our firm focuses on and has extensive experience dealing with timeshare matters with a proven track record of successful resolutions. Unlike “exit companies,” we can represent you throughout the entire process to ensure you are legally protected. Call us today for a free case evaluation.
You may have run across “exit companies” in your search to cancel your timeshare. These companies do not require their representatives to be licensed or even educated, and they charge exorbitant fees to take advantage of you.
At O’Grady, we want to make sure you’re choosing the best option for your timeshare cancellation. In some cases, you won’t even have to pay a cent! Contact us to today learn more about timeshare relinquishment programs.